The State Board of Education (“BOE”) is preparing to decide the fate of New Hampshire’s home education rules this week. The Board will meet this Wednesday, and the home education rules are on their agenda for 2:30 p.m. Any changes to the rules passed by the board will go to Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules for final review, and the Board will have one more final adoption vote on the rules.
After postponing a final decision last month the Board sent the rules to a working group. After being unable to agree on all of the proposed changes, working group leader and BOE member Stephen L’Heureux asked the Department of Education to propose a minimal set of regulations. The Department of Education responded by deleting almost the entire “final proposal” with a notable exception. Although the Department appropriately changed the compulsory attendance age made by SB18 and changes made by SB 337 (changed 30-day notice requirement to 5 days), the Department inappropriately retained a requirement that homeschoolers list the subjects they will teach in their annual notice of intent. This language should be deleted since it was the explicit language and intent of HB 406 to remove this requirement for homeschoolers. This is one of the issues that proponents of increased regulation have come back to time and again. HSLDA believes it is an attempt by some in the Department of Education to achieve through rule what the legislature has both explicitly rejected (in HB 406) and implicitly rejected by refusing to reinstate this requirement (SB337 and HB 367/368).
Even though the state Board appears to be amenable to the changes proposed by homeschool leaders to delete the reference to the list of subjects, there has been some confusion on the Board about whether they ought to require this information or not. Therefore, we are asking that you contact the Board and politely request that they make those minimal changes and remove the requirement of a list of subjects in the notification section.
You can see the proposed final proposal at: http://www.nh.gov/council/
Contact information is below:
John E. Lyons, Jr., Chairman (At Large)
Office: (603) 431-5144
Home: (603) 430-9570
Fredrick J. Bramante, Jr. (At Large)
Home: (603) 868-5683
Office: (603) 623-7900
Helen G. Honorow (District 5)
Office: (603) 883-0474
Home: (603) 598-8433
Daphne A. Kenyon, Ph.D. (District 3)
Home: (603) 886-7207
Stephen R. L’Heureux (District 4)
Home: (603) 668-2708
Office: (603) 669-2256
Tom Raffio (District 2)
Home: (603) 715-2750
Office: (603) 223-1300
William D. Walker (District 1)